Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked President Muhammed Buhari not to seek re-election, citing his “poor performance” in office.
In a lengthy statement he issued yesterday, Obasanjo spoke of poverty and insecurity in Nigeria as well as, Buhari’s poor economic management, nepotism and gross dereliction of duty.
He said he would be in the vanguard of a movement to oust Buhari from power if the president would run in the election again.
“The situation that made Nigerians to vote massively to get Jonathan out is playing itself out again,” Obasanjo said, adding that he voted for Buhari because at that time it was a matter of “any option but Jonathan.”
“I will consider no sacrifice too great to make for the good of Nigeria at any time,” he said.
The Presidency declined comment on Obasanjo’s statement yesterday.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said “no comment yet.”
The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, also refused to comment on Obasanjo’s letter asking Buhari not to seek a second term.
In a telephone chat with our correspondent yesterday, the president’s political adviser said: “My reaction? No comment.”
Though Obasanjo commended President Buhari over his achievements in fighting corruption and insurgency, the former president added that “it is not yet uhuru.”
He added: “But there are three other areas where President Buhari has come out more glaringly than most of us thought we knew about him. One is nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court.
´This has grave consequences on performance of his government to the detriment of the nation. It would appear that national interest was being sacrificed on the altar of nepotic interest.
“The second is his poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics. This has led to wittingly or unwittingly making the nation more divided and inequality has widened and become more pronounced. It also has effect on general national security. The third is passing the buck.
“If things were good, President Buhari would not need to come in. He was voted to fix things that were bad and not engage in the blame game.
“Kinship and friendship that place responsibility for governance in the hands of the unelected can only be deleterious to good government and to the nation.”
He asked Buhari to take a dignified and honourable exit and join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the sideline for the good of the country.
The former president did not see any hope for the country in the two dominant political parties – APC and PDP because they are “wobbling.”
“I must reiterate that nothing has happened to convince me otherwise. If anything, I am reinforced in my conviction. The recent show of PDP must give grave and great concern to lovers of Nigeria.
“We need a Coalition for Nigeria, CN. Such a Movement at this juncture needs not be a political party but one to which all well-meaning Nigerians can belong. That Movement must be a coalition for democracy, good governance, social and economic well-being and progress. Coalition to salvage and redeem our country.
Former President Obasanjo had in 2013 written a letter to then President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing him of allowing deceit, corruption and mutual distrust to tear at the fabric of the nation.
We are studying Obasanjo’s statement – APC
Political parties have expressed divergent views over Obasanjo’s advice to President Buhari against seeking re-election in 2019.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in a reaction yesterday, through its National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, promised to respond after studying the statement.
“The APC has asked to be given the opportunity to study the statement. We shall respond appropriately afterwards,” Abdullahi said yesterday when asked to react to the memo from the former president.
Obasanjo vindicated us – PDP
Reacting on its twitter handle yesterday, the leading opposition party PDP said “The former President has vindicated us on our position that the @MBuhari led @APCNigeria government has failed in all ramifications. However, we reject the call for a 3rd force and urge all stakeholders in the country to embrace the PDP rescue mission.
(Analysis: How far can Obasanjo’s verdict on Buhari go? – P. 13)